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Mrs Delphine Peace

Research Assistant

Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology


I joined the Department of Sociology at Durham in 2021, and work across two projects as part of the Contextual Safeguarding Research Programme. The first, Contextual Safeguarding Across Borders, explores the applicability of Contextual Safeguarding in international settings with a particular focus on refugee young people in Europe. I am also a Research Fellow on the ESRC funded Innovate Project, exploring how children social care and voluntary sector services are innovating to address extra-familial risks and harm.

My background is in international relations with a focus on humanitarian action and peace studies. I am interested in the social and structural conditions of harm experienced by young people and in exploring opportunities for contextual responses to extra-familial harm in child protection systems internationally, including in the voluntary and community sector. I am passionate about social action research as a means of creating change.

Prior to joining Durham, I worked in the Safer Young Lives Research Centre at the University of Bedfordshire across both the Contextual Safeguarding team and the Our Voices Project. I was an embedded researcher in Hackney’s Children’s Services, where Contextual Safeguarding was first piloted (DfE Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme). I also worked on the Securing Safey project, exploring the impact of ‘out of area’ placements as a response to extra-familial harm on young people’s experiences of safety. As part of the Our Voices project, I researched the participation of young people with lived experiences of sexual violence in advocacy, practice, and research in Europe. Before joining the Safer Young Lives Research Centre, I worked in The Children's Society Safeguarding and Quality Practice team and I also worked for the humanitarian organisation CARE France.


Authored Book

Firmin, Carlene, Lefevre, Michelle, Huegler, Nathalie & Peace, Delphine (2022). Safeguarding Young People Beyond the Family Home: Responding to Extra-Familial Risks and Harms. Bristol: Policy Press.

Journal Article

Wroe, Lauren Elizabeth, Peace, Delphine & Firmin, Carlene (2023). ‘Relocating’ Adolescents from Risk beyond the Home: What Do We Learn When We Ask about Safety? The British Journal of Social Work.

Firmin, Carlene, Manister, Molly & Peace, Delphine (2022). Serious Case Reviews and Extra-Familial Harm: Missed and Emerging Opportunities to Develop Contextual Practices. The British Journal of Social Work.

Cody, Claire, Bovarnick, Silvie & Peace, Delphine (2022). ‘It's like a much deeper understanding and you kind of believe them more …’ The value of peer support for young people affected by sexual violence. Child Abuse Review.

Cody, Claire, Bovarnick, Silvie, Peace, Delphine & Warrington, Camille (2022). ‘Keeping the informal safe’ Strategies for developing peer support initiatives for young people who have experienced sexual violence. Children & Society 36(5): 1043-1063.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

• Peace, D. and Wroe, L.E. (2022). Contextual Safeguarding Across Borders: testing the applicability and feasibility of ‘Contextual Safeguarding’ as an approach to safeguarding adolescents from extra-familial harm in international settings. Durham University.

• Peace, D. (2021). The use of out-of-home and secure care in responses to child sexual abuse/exploitation and trafficking. An international scoping review. The University of Bedfordshire.

• Peace, D. and Atkinson, R. (2019). Holistic approaches to safeguarding adolescents. The University of Bedfordshire.

• Peace, D. (2018). Responding to safeguarding concerns in local businesses and neighbourhoods. The University of Bedfordshire.

• Peace, D. (2018). Being Heard: promoting children and young people’s involvement in participatory research on sexual violence. Findings from an international scoping review. The University of Bedfordshire.

Research interests

  • Extra-familial harm in adolescence
  • Forced migrations and human trafficking
  • International child protection systems
  • Voluntary and community sector responses